/ Racing

Tributes paid after owner Patsy Byrne passes away

Updated: Monday, 30 Sep 2013 21:00 | Comments

Patsy Byrne (centre) made his mark in the horse racing and greyhound world
Patsy Byrne (centre) made his mark in the horse racing and greyhound world

Tributes have been coming in from throughout the racing world after news of the death of Patsy Byrne.

The Kerryman was an admired figure around the greyhound and horseracing circuit.

Byrne's pink and blue colours were seen carried to victory only recently by White Star Line in the Kerry National at Listowel, while he won this season's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle with the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Tominator.

He founded the Byrne Group firm, which has been involved in the construction of buildings such as the Olympic Stadium, the Emirates Stadium, Stamford Bridge and the new Centre and Number One Court at Wimbledon, in 1969 with his brother Johnny.

An enthusiast of all Irish sports, he was involved with top dogs like Cool Performance and Ballinderry Ash as well as enjoying major success on the coursing scene.

Dessie Hughes, who trains White Star Line, said: "I can't believe it. It's totally out of the blue. As far as I know he got out of bed and collapsed.

"He was a great character and was at Listowel to see White Star Line win the Kerry National a couple of weeks ago, which was fantastic for him.

"He was a great man who loved his horses and his dogs and anything to do with sport really.

"He'll leave an enormous gap for everybody that anything to do with him."

Tony McCoy said: "Sad news about Patsy Byrne, a great man & friend,big loss 2 the racing and greyhound world, thoughts with his wife Bridget & family"

McCoy's fellow champion jockey Richard Hughes, who rode Byrne horses for Richard Hannon, said: "A great man sadly will be missed Patsy Byrne."

Trainer Brendan Powell tweeted: "Sad to hear about the passing of Patsy Byrne. Rode winners for him back in the days of Les Kennard. A generous and lovely man. RIP."

Oliver Sherwood said: "Very sad to hear Patsy Byrne has passed away - had some good times with Manorson."

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